A Geometric Approach to Slot Alignment in Wireless Sensor Networks
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Traditionally, slotted communication protocols have employed guard times to delineate and align slots. These guard times may expand the slot duration significantly, especially when clocks are allowed to drift for longer time to reduce clock synchronization overhead. Recently, a new class of lightweight protocols for statistical estimation in wireless sensor networks have been proposed. This new class requires very short transmission durations (jam signals), thus the traditional approach of using guard times would impose significant overhead. We propose a new, more efficient algorithm to align slots. Based on geometrical properties of space, we prove that our approach bounds the slot duration by only a constant factor of what is needed. Furthermore, we show by simulation that this bound is loose and an even smaller slot duration is required, making our approach even more efficient.